Apr 8 2013
In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, NYC Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says there is absolutely nothing he will change about how his NYPD counter terrorism unit spies on potential Muslim terrorists, considering the unit’s unparalleled success record in preventing attacks.
WSJ NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly gave an extremely candid interview to the Wall Street Journal, in which he was asked how the department’s surveillance methods have changed in the wake of charges of anti-Muslim bias by Muslim Brotherhood proxy, Hamas-linked CAIR (Council on Anti-American Islamic Relations) His reply: “NOTHING!”
Instead of citing a recent report noting the alleged chilling, discriminatory effect the department’s practices have had on Muslims living in New York City, we hear about how the NYPD counter terrorism program has uncovered and averted several planned terror attacks on NYC by Muslims.
Mr. Kelly’s tenure has been marked by the lack of a successful terror attack. The NYPD’s 1,000-strong counterterrorism force works closely with Washington, and Mr. Kelly is concerned about a possible lowering of the federal guard.
“If you look at the latest National Intelligence Estimate,” he says, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Department of Defense “are sort of now downplaying the threat of terrorism. . . . They look back historically, ‘Hey look how few really big events we’ve had.’ Meantime, I see New York City differently. We’ve had 16 plots against the city.”
One recent example: Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, who “thought he was blowing up the Federal Reserve Bank” of New York as part of an FBI sting operation, the commissioner says. “He goes to the New York Stock Exchange, sees the police that we have there and he decides he can’t do it. Too much security.” So the suspect instead parked what he thought was a van full of explosives in front of the Fed and tried to detonate it from a distance with a cellphone.
“There are other investigations of young people like this that are ongoing right now,” says Mr. Kelly. “We see ourselves as the number one target and we have this stream of young men who want to come here and kill us.”
Media reports have suggested that his department unfairly monitors the Muslim community—the Associated Press ran a Pulitzer Prize-winning series on that score in 2011. Asked what he has changed about the NYPD’s surveillance methods in the wake of those stories, Mr. Kelly says: “Nothing.”
An old judicial consent decree, modified after 9/11, lays out exactly what the police are allowed to do in gathering public information that may help prevent terrorism, he says. The department follows these rules. Next question.